Oct 082010


7 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Yahoo! began rolling out changes to its Web search engine on Thursday, the first significant revamp since it partnered with Microsoft to take on market leader Google.

Microsoft and Yahoo! reached an agreement last year which calls for the US software giant to eventually power searches at all Yahoo! websites.

Yahoo! will continue, however, to present search results in its own fashion on its sites with only a discreet reference at the bottom of the page to them being “Powered by Bing,” Microsoft’s new search engine.

The changes unveiled on Thursday include accordion-like tabs which allow users to quickly flip through content on a subject.

A search for singer Taylor Swift, for example, brings up an “Overview” window with a link to her official website, news stories, photos and other information.

A user can use an “Albums” tab to flip through her albums or listen to a song while a “Videos” tab features music videos and a “Twitter” tab offers up the latest “tweets” about the singer on the micro-blogging service.

A user who provides his location may receive links to upcoming concerts in their area.

“Our goal is to understand what people care about and to make it fun for them to explore the most personally relevant, interesting, and informative content so that they can get things done faster and stay in the know,” Yahoo! senior vice president Shashi Seth said.

“Yahoo!’s new immersive Search is a cornerstone of the overall Yahoo! experience, creating more ways to connect people with whatever and whoever interests them,” Seth said in a statement.

Yahoo! said the new search features were immediately available to US users and would be launched in additional markets next year.

Google holds a more than 65 percent share of the lucrative US search and advertising market.

According to The Nielsen Co., Microsoft overtook Yahoo! for the first time in August to make it the number two search service in the United States.

According to Nielsen, Microsoft’s Bing, MSN and Windows Live had a 13.9 percent share of US search volume in August while Yahoo! had a 13.1 percent share.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
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